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Industrial Engineers, Real or Imaginary?

Industrial Engineers, Real or Imaginary?

When I was in High School and I had to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, I went to the library and looked at all the career books I could find.  This was a decision I was going to get right. 

I wanted to make sure I found a job where I would enjoy the work I did vs. just collecting a paycheck.  As I explored the limitless options, I came upon Engineering.  Now that’s something that had a nice “feel” to it.  I could use math and science to create things and help people. 

As I dug further, I quickly realized that there was no such career as Engineer.  I had to choose a specialty.  Even within the field of Engineering there were dozens of options.  I found Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, Chemical, Network, Biomedical and a few others I did not fully grasp. 

As I weighed out the Pros and Cons and matched them to my skill set, I realized that as a guy who could barely change his oil, I should avoid about half of these.  Then I stumbled along Industrial Engineering.  I learned that it was less about working on machines and things, but more geared towards the human factors.  The general premise is that while all the machines are nice, it is the human that is the most important part of the equation.  The idea that you could take the same environment, and customize it to the human to increase comfort and efficiency really spoke to me.  It was official.  I wanted to be an Industrial Engineer when I grew up!

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